By Carrie-ann | Jan 06, 2017 | Building a Website

A beginners guide to google analytics

If you have a website, knowing how well it is performing is important. By understanding where traffic to your site is coming from, how long people stay there and how they navigate your site, you can make changes to improve it. Google Analytics is one tool that lets you do this.

How to use Google Analytics
If you want to use Google Analytics to understand more about your website traffic, you first need to sign up for a Google email account. Follow this checklist to get started:
– Click access Google Analytics.
– Enter your details and your website’s URL.
– Select data sharing options.
– Accept the tracking ID.
– Copy and paste the tracking ID into the code of your web pages.
Once you have completed this, Google Analytics is ready to start retrieving information about your site.

Understanding the Google Analytics dashboard
The Google Analytics dashboard provides information about visits to your site in the past week. There are five headings to the left of the main page that are of interest to anyone wanting to analyse their site:
– Real time – data about people currently using your site.
– Audience – metric information about users, such as interests and demographics.
– Acquisition – how visitors arrive at your site.
– Behaviour – how users navigate your site.
– Conversions – relating to goals you have set up.
Important: acquisition and behaviour are probably the two main areas on which to focus.

How to understand acquisition and behaviour
Acquisition relates to how traffic arrives at your site. It is segmented into traffic from social media or unpaid search queries (organic traffic); visits from paid keywords, such as AdWords campaigns; and words generated from free search engine traffic (organic keywords).
Behaviour is associated with how visitors use your site, specifically:
– How long they stay on a page or the site.
– How many pages are viewed.
– How many visitors leave after just one page.
– Your goal conversions.
Always remember to look at the behaviour flow to assess the route visitors take on your site, as this can help to identify any problem areas or trends.
Are lots of visitors leaving your site on the same page? This could indicate a problem on this page. Find out which pages are creating the most conversions to highlight your success points.

How to check site speed
A very useful feature of Google Analytics is checking your site loading speed. Slow speeds can detract visits and harm your search rankings.
Did you know that more than two seconds to load is considered slow? Discover your site speed under the behaviour tab and take note of suggestions given to improve your load speed.

How to check devise usage
Being mobile-friendly is vital for every website owner, as more people now use mobile devices than desktops to search. You can use Google Analytics to see which devices people are using to view your site. To check this, simply look for the reports on the dashboard, click on audience, and view mobile.